Easy-to-make Italian-flavored chicken casserole will become a delicious hit with the family!
I’m sure there’s plenty of people who may find this recipe vaguely familiar–and you’d be right! It’s an old crockpot standby called Italian chicken. It also happens to be one dish I absolutely hate made in the crock pot. Reason is, the chicken comes out way too dry.
So what I decided to do was convert this recipe to a conventional one and the best part is, you can serve it right from the skillet and omit the casserole part.
I prefer the casserole version mainly because I like how the pasta on top gets a little bit of crunch from being baked. Plus I was dying to use this new casserole dish it was made in!
When I think of it, my version of Italian chicken is much easier than it’s slow cooker cousin. Even in the slow cooker, it’s not a “dump-and-go” recipe. You have to cook the chicken before adding the cream sauce–where you have to saute the onions and garlic before dumping in the sauce.
With my stovetop/casserole version, you just have to cook the pasta. Everything else cooks in one pan.
The slow cooker recipe also has more butter and cream cheese. I’ve reduced that here with no loss in flavor. In fact, I think this sauce has more flavor. I also added some red bell pepper not only for a pop of color, but for the great flavor it gives this chicken casserole.
This is also a great way to use up leftover chicken and turkey and makes this a really quick meal even faster to make.
Baking dish is part of the colombino collection from Ceramiche Tapinassi available from Allorashop.com
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup red bell peppers, diced
- 1 can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup milk or half and half
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 4 oz cream cheese, cubed
- 1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix (for my EU readers who can't get this, here's a good copycat you can make yourself--Italian Dressing Mix. Use 2 tbs of the mix.)
- 3 tbs grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 8 oz uncooked bowtie (farfalle) pasta -OR- your choice of shaped pasta
- Cook pasta per package directions, except cook for about 2-3 minutes LESS than recommended if making the casserole version. If you don't plan to bake in the oven, then cook pasta the recommended amount of time suggested on the package. Drain and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken cubes.
- Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and saute until onion is translucent; about 3 minutes.
- To the same pan, add the soup, the milk and the stock. Whisk until smooth
- Add the cubed cream cheese and stir until it's melted and well blended into sauce.
- Then add 2 tbs of the Parmesan cheese and the dressing mix. Stir until well blended.
- Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat well with the sauce and heat through. May be served at this point with no additional cooking.
- FOR CASSEROLE:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 2-quart casserole (round, square or oblong--11 x 7-and 9 x 9-inch are good).
- Turn chicken/pasta mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbs of Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and pasta is getting golden brown on the top.